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Brooklyn Community Foundation Holiday 2011 Newsletter

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The holiday newsletter for the Brooklyn Community Foundation, whose mission is to strengthen communities and improve lives in Brooklyn, through local giving, grantmaking, and community services. Learn more at brooklyncommunityfoundation.org.
  • Brooklyn community foundationholiday newsletter 2011

  • Brooklyn community foundation

    improving lives and strengthening communities through local giving, grantmaking and community service.

    Alan H. Fishman, Chairman

    Martin M. Baumrind

    Robert Catell

    Rohit M. Desai

    Donald Elliott

    Edward F. Gentner, Jr., Esq.

    Ralph Herzka

    Sister Elizabeth A. Hill, C.S.J.

    Malcolm MacKay

    Maria Fiorini Ramirez

    Constance R. Roosevelt

    Rev. Emma Jordan-Simpson

    Hildy Simmons

    Dr. Lester Young, Jr.

    Marilyn G. Gelber, President

    Anna French

    Stephanie Hyacinth

    Diane John

    Philip Li

    Stuart Post

    Liane Stegmaier

    Toya Williford

    Board of directors staffBrooklynCommunityFoundation.org



    do good right here

    staff photo

    above photo by Rosalie OConnor from the Mark Morris Dance Group.Cover photo by Anita Singh;

  • dear neighBors,

    For most of us the holiday season is an extra special time of yeargood meals, gifts, gatherings with family and friendsas we reflect on faith and giving to others.

    For many Brooklynites however, this will be a season of greater anxiety about putting food on the table, making rent and mortgage payments, providing for their children, and battling poor health.

    The cost of living here is increasing, yet incomes are not. One in five Brooklynites have incomes that are so low that they are unable to afford food at some point during the year.

    Neighborhoods like East Flatbush, Bedford Stuyvesant, and Canarsie have some of the highest foreclosure rates in the city. Even in an increasingly developing neighborhood like Red Hook, more than half the residents still live in poverty.

    Weve heard the worried voices and received concerned emails from food pantries, social service providers, and dozens of other nonprofit organizations serving our neighbors. We continue to do what we can to answer their calls for help, but we are facing an unprecedented time of increased demand and fewer and fewer resources.

    So far in 2011, weve provided 119 nonprofits organizations with more than $2.3 million through our five Field of Interest Funds, a sampling of whose stories are told in this newsletter. This work is made possible because of generous donors like you who want to do something about hunger, who want to help educate children, who want to help seniors stay in their homes, and who want to help people get the skills they need to get good jobs.

    This holiday season, we ask that you join us and give a gift to Brooklyn, the place that you have embraced as your home and the place you want to share with your family and friends. During these difficult economic times any gift at any level is more important than ever before.

    And through the end of this year a generous anonymous donor will match all gifts of up to $250, and thanks to our legacy operating support from Independence Bank, 100% of your tax-deductible donation goes directly back to the community to support the best ideas and programs serving Brooklyn.

    Please make your donation to Brooklyn by using the enclosed reply form and envelope, visiting us online at BrooklynCommunityFoundation.org, or calling (347)750-2310. Thank you for joining us to Do Good Right Here during the Holidays and all through the year!


    Marilyn GelberPresidentBrooklyn Community Foundation

    emBracing the Brooklyn season of giving

  • learn more about another grantee working with teens from Brooklyns largest public housing community, the Red Hook Initiative at BrooklynCommunityFoundation.org/meet/grantee/RHI

    The Brooklyn Community Foundation promotes access to quality education and academic success for all children and adults, as well as programs that help young people make smart life choices and nurture their social and emotional well-being. So far in 2011, with support from our generous donors, weve given $636,000 in grants to 31 nonprofit organizations working in Brooklyn through this fund.

    inspiring and engaging students to succeed

    education & youth achievement fund

    On a September afternoon, Ian Foster Jones sits behind a piano at the Brooklyn Friends School, a private school in downtown Brooklyn. The group of tiny children who stand rapt before him is a picture of New Yorks melting potdifferent classes, races, and ethnic backgrounds.

    Only about half these children are students at Brooklyn Friends, but each is a member of this schools afterschool program thanks to the Horizons National Student Enrich-ment Program. For 40 years, Horizons has battled the achievement gap between low-income and middle class students. Its programs, hosted by independent schools, keep public school students sharp and active.

    Horizons co-executive directors Taunya Black and Rachel Webber say both the summer and afterschool programs benefit the public and private school students.

    Its about showing both groups of kids that there is more to the world than what you see when you walk out your door, says Black.

    When starting up the program, Horizons approached dozens of independent schools in New York City, but Brooklyn Friends, with its Quaker mission to serve the wider community, was the only one to sign on. When

    do good right herePlease support efforts like these by making your secure one-time or recurring donation online at BrooklynCommunityFoundation.org

    meet a grantee: horizons at Brooklyn friends school

    they began soliciting for support to help fund the effort, the Brooklyn Community Foundation was the first to step up with a grant in 2008.

    Each year a new group of Kindergartners come in. They will continue through eighth grade, partaking in academic and extra-curricular activities to stem learning loss. Chil-dren from public schools adjoining Brooklyns Farragut, Ingersoll, and Whitman public housing communities take swimming lessons, participate in a variety of visual and performing arts, and visit the citys cultural institutions.

    They go to school better prepared to learn. They also learn about themselves. The program is about access to opportunity. Its about exposure to the world beyond reading, writing, and arithmetic, says Webber, to figure out where their talents lie.

    The Brooklyn Community Foundation continues to help make that happen with a $10,000 grant this year. Because we grow exponentially, we need funders that are able to commit over the long haul, says Black. Having them in our list of funders speaks highly of us.

    That afternoon in Jones chorus class, the Horizons and Brooklyn Friends students are distinguishable only by the uniforms that the public school students wear.

    Jones starts into kid-friendly version of the hit song Party Rock is in the house tonight. His enthusiasm seems to melt barriers of race, class, and experience. The dozen tiny students wave their hands in the air and sing, Party Rock is in the school tonight, and everybodys gonna have a good time!

    Its being able to be exposed to the world beyond reading, writing, and arithmetic, to figure out where their talents lie.

  • The Brooklyn Community Foundation supports outreach efforts of local arts and cultural organizations, integrating the arts into schools and afterschool programs, and collaborations that employ the arts to address pressing community issues. So far in 2011, with support from our generous donors, weve given $560,500 in grants to 36 nonprofit organizations working in Brooklyn through this fund.

    arts for all fund

    learn more about another grantee helping underserved communities tell their stories, the New York Writers Coalition at BrooklynCommunityFoundation.org/meet/grantee/NYWC

    Mark Morris choreography has appeared on stages from Lincoln Center to Londons Royal Opera House. But the work of the Mark Morris Dance Group, goes beyond award-winning performances.

    We have an ethic that you serve the community youre in, says Lauren Cherubini, director of development and external relations. We believe that a good life involves access to high quality art.

    The Brooklyn Community Foundation has bolstered that ethic for over a decade, beginning with a grant toward construction of MMDGs five-story building on Lafayette Avenue in Downtown Brooklyn, finished in 2001.

    The Community Foundation continues to help MMDG achieve its growing mission. That includes a $25,000 grant this year to underwrite programs that bring dance to under-served Brooklynites by collaborating with, among others, local schools through its Dance, Music and Literacy Project, the New York City Housing Authority, and the Brooklyn Parkinson Group.

    Mark Morris often calls the building a hive, and on a recent Wednesday it buzzes with activity. But it is on the fourth floor that magic is happening.

    In a packed Dance for PD (Parkinsons disease) class, students fill chairs encircling three instructors, all professional dancers in the company. The program, which offers dance classes with live music to those with varying degrees of PD, came about through an innovative partnership with the Brooklyn Parkinson Group. More than 40 communities worldwide have been inspired by the Brooklyn model to create Dance for PD classes.

    The joy the class brings is evident in the students focus. One petite woman sits ramrod straight, moving with steady, sure grace. Across the room, an elderly man

    meet a grantee: mark morris dance group

    with a Yankees hat moves stiff arms carefully back and forth, but he follows every beat.

    Instructors encourage caregivers to take the class too. When the class transitions to the ballet barre, a caregiver in p

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